In the last 2 or 3 years, I've found that simulator leagues are becoming more and more popular, mostly for cold-weather climates. This is due to improved technology, and technology which is getting more affordable by year.
So what's different between a sim league and a standard league? Can you run a sim league on Golf League Tracker, and if so, do you run it any differently?
For the most part, running a simulator league vs a standard league is the same. However there are some opportunities that you may want to consider when running a simulator league that you generally can't do when running a standard league played at a real golf course.
Golf League Tracker requires that you enter your course information before scheduling a round. Most (if not all) sim leagues rotate courses for each round. Entering 15-20 courses can be a little daunting, but what I recommend is that you enter courses on an as-needed basis, or perhaps, a couple of week ahead of when you want to schedule the round. You can always create your schedule all for the same course, then update the schedule as you enter additional courses. Once the course info is entered into your league, that same info will copy over from season to season, so you only have to do this once for each course.
Since rounds on a simulator can be played essentially at any time, you have more flexibility on how scheduling works. With standard leagues, the vast majority play on a weekly basis with a reserved block of tee times at a single course. But with a simulator league, we've found that often players can and do play their rounds at their own convenience. What often will happen is that sim leagues will have a required end-date for each round to be played. For example, "round 3 has to be completed by December 1st".
While you could allow players to "play ahead" and finish all of their rounds as soon as they want, you will want to enter each round in full one week at a time. The reason is that your standings, results, and handicaps will otherwise be out of sync with how the rounds would normally be played. It would be confusing to your players if one player or team is 5 weeks ahead of schedule in their scores, for example.
All of the same point formats are available to sim leagues as they are to standard leagues, however some are more applicable than others depending on how you handle your scheduling. For example, when playing a match play type format, you usually want the two (or four) competitors playing together at the same time. However, if you're allowing players to play at any time, this might not be practical, so often match play won't be used in these instances.
Instead, sim leagues will often play a "FedEx Cup" type of format, where players/teams are awarded points based on their finish relative to all other players. Golf League Tracker supports a large variety of point formats, and I have some of the more common listed here:
I don't find any difference in handicapping between simulator leagues and standard leagues, however I recommend a maximum score per hole is implemented (e.g. "double par"). Simulator league scores tend to be higher (and sometimes, as LOT higher) than standard leagues, so you want to make sure you keep those scores in check when calculating handicaps.
Outside of the regular scoring and points, Golf League Tracker can calculate skins for you as well. This works well for sim leagues even when players are playing at different times. While you can track winners for games like closest to the pin, I don't believe that possible to determine winners in a simulator, is it? You'll have to let me know!
Simulator leagues or standard leagues can each be run easily and efficiently with Golf League Tracker. Sign up now for free to get started!